Patient Fall Risk

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Introduction Patient safety is an important aspect of hospital care. Hospitals are entrusted to protect the patients, keep them safe while delivering a high quality care (Graham, 2012). As a result of announcements by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that hospitals will no longer be reimbursed for hospital-acquired conditions (HAC) or never events, such as inpatient falls. In addition, reduction of harm from falls was identified by Joint Commission as a national patient safety goal.
Fall is defined as an unexpected descent from a standing, sitting, or supine position (Hicks, 2015). Eight percent of inpatient falls results in moderate to severe injuries such as fractures, lacerations, subdural hematoma, or even death. Depending
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Patient fall rates – The number of falls per 1,000 patient days (Tucker, Bieber, Attlesey-Pries, Olson, & Dierkhising, 2012). Patient fall risk – Fall risk assessment is the systematic process of identifying individual factors that puts the patient at risk of falling. Patients fall risk determined using the Morse Fall Scale, which is a tool used to identify risk factors for falls in hospitalized patients ("Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality," 2013). The components of the scale includes history of falling, secondary diagnosis, ambulatory aid, intravenous therapy, gait, and mental status. The patients’ total score may be used to predict future falls. Nurse-patient ratio during hospitalization – Refers to the average ratio of nurses to assigned patients to safely provide care. Hourly rounding – An autonomous intervention that helps nursing staff (nurses and patient care technicians) keep patients safe by proactively meeting their needs. It refers to the scheduled and intentional checking up of the nursing staff on patients, to address the patients’ need for toileting, pain medications, comfort in bed, and belongings within reach, as a fall prevention

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